There are many abbreviations in the world of the automobile. You may think you know what most of them stand for, but others may leave you scratching your head. One of those is likely to be PDK, the name given to the automatic gearbox used by Porsche. And there's a reason you don't see the full name of this gearbox written out in most articles covering anything Porsche: Those three letters stand for Porsche Doppelkupplungs getriebe.

That's a bit of a mouthful, but it's pretty easy to remember once you read it through a few times. The first part is easy, because it's simply Porsche. That second bit that makes up the D and K of PDK translates to dual clutch. Finally, though it's not part of the PDK abbrebiation, getriebe is German for transmission. So putting it all together you find that PDK is a German language abbreviation for Porsche's dual-clutch transmission.

And what a fine transmission it is. While many of us here prefer the old-school goodness of a manual gearbox, there's no denying that a number of automatic units are faster and better suited for the task of simply going fast. Amongst them, the PDK is pretty much the gold standard. It's almost telepathic in its ability to downshift ahead of a corner, and it will run right up into the sweet spot of the power band when you ask it to pull harder and faster.

You know what a great transmission it is, and now you also know what those three letters mean as well. You may even be able to claim you speak a bit of German to boot.